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When to Decline a Sportsbook Bonus

December 22, 2017
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Sportsbooks created deposit bonuses years ago to sweeten the deal for potential customers. The idea was simple: you deposit money and they would add more money to your account. In the early days of the online sportsbook it was usually 10-25%. And to prevent people from depositing  and then withdrawing the amount after the bonus had been added, sportsbooks created something called a rollover clause.

A rollover clause means that the player must bet a certain amount of money before they can cash out. This total is usually based on the amount deposited. In the early days the rollover clause would be 4X the amount you deposited. So, if you deposited $100 and received a $25 bonus, you would have to make at least $400 in bets before you were eligible to withdraw your money ($100 deposit X4 = $400). That formula was changed soon thereafter to include the bonus amount in the rollover as well. So based on the previous example it would look like this ($100 deposit +$25 bonus X4 time rollover = $500). The amount you needed to bet was now $500. The sportsbooks gained a little more leverage with that move.

Flash forward almost 20 years and the bonuses have been on the rapid increase, but, so have the rollovers. Now it is not uncommon to see a 100% bonus with a 20X rollover. That’s right, a 20X rollover! So using our measly $100 deposit example in this scenario would look like this ($100 initial deposit + $100 bonus money = $200 X 20 = $4,000). That is correct, you must place at least $4,000 in bets before you touch this money. Most everyone will lose their $200 well before they get to the rollover amount and sportsbook know this. That’s why they are so generous with the bonus offer.

What to Do

If you are a serious sports bettor and plan on winning some money then cashing out every few weeks, PASS on the bonus offer. Most sportsbooks will allow you to decline the bonus. If they add it automatically, contact their customer service right away and make record of the event. Tell them to remove the bonus and any rollover. It is preferable that you do it on text chat and save a copy for your records. It is highly recommended that you only use the highest rated sportsbooks to avoid complications and stalled or non-payouts.